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Email Preheaders: Do They Help Open Rates


Email preheaders are short summaries that follow the subject line of an email, and these have become the latest trend in email marketing. Here is a visual example of what these look like in Gmail:

These preheaders may appear different on mobile devices and other email carriers, but they all serve the same purpose: to get people to open your email. The question is, do they help with your email open rates?

Let’s find out the answer together.

They’re Effective for Mobile

The biggest reason why email preheaders are the newest trend in email marketing is because of how effective it is on mobile. According to Adotas, “They deliver a seven percent higher open rate, on average. With nearly half of all emails opened on a mobile device, and the average inbox swelling to more than 100+ emails per day, clever preheaders are a great way to capture your audience’s attention.”

It’s no secret that digital marketing is making a huge shift toward mobile, and emails are no exclusion. When considering mobile opens, it may be wise to use preheaders that are meaningful, clear, and drive people to open this email on their phones. Let’s look into some best practices of email preheaders.

Best Practices of Email Preheaders

A good rule of thumb to remember with your preheaders is to make them work succinctly with your subject lines. Don’t make them be the same; this is your opportunity to create something compelling! Here are other good best practices and ideas to get you started with your preheaders:

  1. Humanize it with personalization. Building connections through email should always be a goal with your efforts, and the email preheader is a great place to do this. Add in dynamic fields such as the recipient’s name or other custom information you’ve collected about them.
  2. Ask a question. Using questions over statements tends to be more effective with preheaders. While your subject line should be a statement, the preheader can follow it with a question to build anticipation, which is always key for successful emails.
  3. Consider using emojis. This tactic won’t work for everyone (especially for many B2B businesses), but emojis have proven to boost open rates. This is because they help emails stand out in the sea of text that is your inbox.

How to Add Them to Your Emails

There are email platforms like ActiveCampaign and Campaign Monitor that have made this very easy for users to add email preheaders to their campaigns. If you find that yours does not offer this feature yet, here are some things you need to know:

  • If your body copy of your emails already cut to the chase and the first sentence already summarizes what’s in your email, you may not need to worry about preheaders.
  • This may be the perfect time for you to switch to a platform that allows it. We personally love ActiveCampaign and use it for our own strategies and some of our clients.
  • If switching is not an option, here is an example of how you can edit your CSS code (via Campaign Monitor):

It’s safe to say that email preheaders have given business a new opportunity to bring new life into their strategies. Stand out in your subscribers’ inbox with email preheaders!

To learn more about email marketing, contact us today!

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Brooke Desmond

Communications Manager
With a passion for all things digital marketing, Brooke aims to give a unique perspective on the latest trends and ideas in this ever-changing space.

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